Sunday, 8 May 2011

Alex Salmond Versus Peter Robinson

Vote 2011 has left us with a new Champion of Nationalism in the form of Alex Salmond backed by a SNP majority in the Scottish Parliament but Unionism not to be out-done has brought Peter Robinson to the front of a DUP charge in Northern Ireland.

With the SNP success in Scotland many pundits have been talking about what this means for the UK and how David Cameron will now have to deal with the an empowered Salmond. To be fair Salmond does have a list of demands already at hand for the Coalition of Westminster; Corporation tax powers, borrowing powers, control over the crwon estate commission in Scotland and a referendum on Scotland's Independence from the UK.
But Cameron is the Final boss of the Game, the Bid bad at the top of the Castle with an army of Tory henchmen surrounding him. To get the powers he wants Salmond may soon find the SNP facing down the DUP.
Reading this there may be some confusion considering that the SNP is in Scotland and the DUP are in Northern Ireland still buried in the constant Battle Royal that is Stormont Politics. But consider the Liberal Democrats following Vote 2011. The have been outright decimated across the board and there are rumbling of either Clegg stepping down or the Liberal Democrats leaving the Coalition and offering support on a vote by vote basis.
Should the Coalition split the Conservatives will want to shore up some more support among the other parties and who is the fourth largest party in Westminster?

That's right the DUP.

So to ensure the support for the Coalition so as not to face the polls with a SNP enjoying huge support in Scotland and threatening to further imbalance Parliament the DUP will be the prime target as they will hopefully bring the other NI parties with them.

Unionists will then be the Crux of the SNP and this is where Alex Salmond then faces his biggest problem.

The SNP have not had to face down a Die-Hard Unionist party in this Generation, they have been taking on the three Westminster parties whose Unionism is occasionally wheeled out, mainly to annoy the SNP. The DUP on the other hand are the perpetual opponents of Sinn Fein, undoubtedly the most Die-hard ideologically of the Nationalist parties and the SDLP one of the most experienced Nationalist parties in terms of government and negotiation.

The rise of the SNP also presents a unique opportunity for the DUP, with the Mandatory Coalition and a generally good relationship with Sinn Fein in Stormont, the DUP are in need of a target to maintain their momentum with the Electorate for the next Euro elections without causing themselves problems in Stormont the SNP nationalist 'threat' presents a target for the DUP, with the added benefits of allowing the DUP to say they are engaging in UK-wide politics rather than just being NI-Centric.

I would pay good money to see the re-energised Peter Robinson and Alex Salmond in a TV debate on the UK's constitutional future.